TARS 2019. Aquafeeds: Fit for Future. August 14-15 2019, Bali, Indonesia. See you in Bali!

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Aquafeeds: Fit for Future

 August 14-15, 2019      Bali, Indonesia
TARS 2019. Aquafeeds: Fit for Future. August 14-15 2019, Bali, Indonesia. See you in Bali!

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Organised By

Media Sponsor

Challenges in Thailand: A view from the next generation

Jarin Sawanboonchun, Aquaculture Nutrition and Feed Specialist, Thailand

In general, aquafeed production in Thailand showed a small increase in 2018 for the main species such as tilapia, catfish and shrimp. The main challenge for the industry in Thailand was that ex-farm prices for farmers had dropped except for tilapia and shrimp. The price drop had an indirect impact as it was passed on to the feedmill. Most shrimp feedmills reduce feed prices to help farmers. Overall, this means feedmills must produce cheaper feed or if they keep to the same formulation, the feedmill will have a lower or no profit margin at all.

Another challenge for feedmills is that improvements in genetics and better farm management, would increase demand on nutrient requirements, i.e. faster growing fish and shrimp may have higher demand for high quality fishmeal to match the genetic potential. The challenge is for feedmills to constantly catch up on farm developments. Competition between feed mills to produce the best feed is high.

Fishmeal supply is another challenge for aquafeed production. Fishmeal production was reduced due to IUU implementation by the Thai government to improve fisheries management. Also, feedmills need to keep up with standards in certifications such as BAP (Best Aquaculture Practices) which include the control of feed formulations to reduce fishmeal inclusion rates, and use of ingredients which allow tracking back to the supply chain.

Another indirect challenge for feedmills is the highly competitive and stagnant export market for shrimp. The increased tariff (GSP) from 7% to 20% and normal rate from 4.2% to 12% on Thai shrimp products exported to the EU market since 2014 has had a negative impact on the industry. This resulted in a reduction of approximately 50% in the exports to the EU. The effect is reduced production and, therefore, demand for feed in Thailand. There is also competition from other countries such as India, Vietnam and Indonesia, producing more shrimp and at lower production costs than Thailand.

Shrimp culture in Thailand still faces the challenge of disease outbreaks like EMS, white spot disease, white faeces disease and yellow head. Many farmers do not want to take the risk of production. Overall the effect of disease is to reduce demand from feedmills. Feedmills can respond by developing functional feeds to try and reduce the risk of disease.

Today, Thai feedmills operate in a highly competitive market which demands production of the best performance feeds at the lowest cost possible. The feed mills need good nutritional knowledge, technology (software and production), quality raw materials available at low costs and R&D facilities to trial changes in formulation. A good technical team is also needed to provide advice and services to farmers. Social media is useful for us to follow aquaculture production trends and understand real time monitoring of emerging issues.

The aquafeed industry is just part of the production cycle and we need also to think about environment, disease and management. To address these challenges, the private sector, universities and government need to work together.

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